Smile erased borders for Manor woman with transatlantic ties
Pat Farrell had a British accent, dual British and American citizenship and a universal appeal.
Her husband, George “Sonny” Farrell, was attracted by the smile she maintained through most of her life.
During their golden years, that smile opened the door for the Farrells to make friends while regularly visiting The Meadows Casino in Washington County.
“Everybody who saw her with her smile felt comfortable to talk with her,” George Farrell said. “I never met a human being who didn’t like her.”
Patricia Ann Farrell, 80, of Manor died Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2019, in Forbes Hospital, after suffering a stroke and seizures.
Born Jan. 6, 1939, in Kingston, England, she was a daughter of the late Charles and Louise Humphries.
Mrs. Farrell met her husband at a restaurant in England, where he was stationed with an electronics unit of the U.S. Air Force. “There was just something down-to-earth about her,” he said. They were married six months later, on Sept. 10, 1960.
As career changes took her husband into civilian life and then back into the Air Force, Mrs. Farrell called a number of places home — including Mt. Pleasant, New York state, Denver and, for three years, New Zealand.
New Zealand, her husband recalled, became “her favorite place in the world” — especially areas inhabited by the indigenous Maori. “It was the excitement of seeing how they lived and what the country was like,” he said. “She interacted with everyone.”
While there, she enjoyed pitching for an American women’s softball team.
In 1967, Mrs. Farrell proudly became a U.S. citizen. “She was an American in her heart, even with her green card,” her husband said.
But she retained her British citizenship and enjoyed return trips to her native land.
She relished visiting some of England’s most popular tourist sites.
Known for her shepherd’s pie, she shared the cuisine of her youth with her children while learning the Italian recipes of her husband’s family.
“We enjoyed sharing her culture by eating,” said her daughter, Kim Gidaro. “I’d have to keep asking her how to make Yorkshire pudding. Every time I’d forget.”
Mrs. Farrell was a cafeteria worker for many years at West Hempfield Middle School. “Her biggest love of being there was seeing the kids,” her husband said. “She could go to a school picnic and the kids would come running up to her, and they all knew her. She loved that.”
She filled multiple gardens at her home with roses and other flowers while using a scooter to maintain her independence.
“She was a very strong person,” her daughter said. “She always took a challenge and made it work.”
In addition to her husband, Mrs. Farrell is survived by two children, Kim (Pete) Gidaro of Harrison City and Karen Farrell of Greensburg; and three grandchildren.
Friends and family will be received from 2 to 7 p.m. Saturday at Galone-Caruso Funeral Home, 204 Eagle St., Mt. Pleasant. Mrs. Farrell’s remains will be placed in a mausoleum at Middle Presbyterian Church Cemetery in Mt. Pleasant.
Memorial donations were suggested to St. Jude Hospital.
Jeff Himler is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jeff at 724-836-6622, [email protected] or via Twitter .